Now I know that one of the reasons couples often hire me to photograph their weddings are what I call my “Hero” images. These type of images have very much become one of my signatures, and I absolutely love that my couples are always willing to give me the freedom to create these. This post is the first in what will be a series of posts about some of MY favourite hero images. Its not going to be a technical post (sorry photographers, you will have to go over to my photo blog to find the technical stuff. But I would encourage any photographers reading to keep doing so, as what I am going to talk about here is the “why” behind the images).
You see, I am always trying to use this images to tell a story about my couple and their day. I really am not just looking to create a “cool” image for the sake of it. I also try as much as possible to avoid making images too similar to others, unless the story behind them is similar… And thats the crux of it, I’m not just trying to make a cool image, to show how skilled I am, I’m trying to tell a unique story, and everything in the photo has to be meaningful…
So what was the story behind Shelley & Chris’s hero shot? well its pretty simple really.
When Shelley and Chris were visiting family in Tasmania during the planning stages of their wedding, they decided randomly to get off the highway and take a quick look at a wedding venue they had heard of. Quamby Estate. One of the things that you cannot fail to notice as you approach the laneway at Quamby are the trees. Beautiful, striking trees. They saw them and just knew that this was the venue for them. Most couples getting married at Quamby will have their ceremony on the lawns, under the giant Hornbeam tree, and this was what Shelley and Chris had planned. Unfortunately weather got in the way, and soaking rains made the lawns extremely soggy, placing them out of bounds for ceremonies. As we talked about this during the morning, Shelley made one simple request for their photos. Whatever we did, because they loved the trees, and especially as the ceremony had been moved to the courtyard near the fountain, she really hoped that I could include trees in their images.
We did our post ceremony photos, and I made sure that there were plenty of images with trees in them, but as we walked around the grounds, I kept looking at this tree… I knew it was the one I needed. We headed to the reception, and from the pavilion I looked across the lawn at this tree. From that angle there was so much symmetry, and I could see that the way the ground sloped away would help my perspective and composition.
So after dark, as the reception moved along, I quickly went out and worked out the details of how I would shoot it.. The rest was simple, I waited for the right moment, grabbed Shelley and Chris, and we snuck out for a quick 10 minute shoot. I really gave them no direction, other than finding the right spot for them to stand to be framed by the trunk, and just suggested they snuggle for warmth.
So this was my interpretation of their story in a nutshell. In this image, for anyone close to them you can see this story… They were married at Quamby Estate, and hoped to get married under the Hornbeam, but because of the rain, it wasn’t possible. This became the tree that they will remember their day at Quamby Estate by.
This is their story. I would love to be able to tell yours.